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Global direction, local application

By Megan Hollingdale

M Hollingdale

It’s the Holy Grail – unveiling a global comms strategy and seeing it delivered effectively in all your local markets. Yet, global pharma marketers can be frustrated by only piecemeal uptake from local teams, with some markets not applying it at all. With other sectors proving they can roll out brand and product marketing to great effect across local markets (Apple, Air BnB and Ikea, to name a few), why is it so hard for the pharma industry?

It’s one thing seeking consistency of brand and product messages, and even channel, but it’s another achieving it. A deep local understanding of not only regulation, but cultural nuances, language and health behaviours, is paramount to local market success – as is a sensitivity to local team resource, budget and structure.

It’s widely accepted that the best global campaigns are those that allow for flexibility of message and delivery in local markets. We believe there are three fundamental things that make this more achievable.

1. Develop a two-way relationship with your local markets. We can’t place enough importance on local market research that captures cultural context, linguistic subtleties, audience insights around health attitudes and behaviours, channel preference and national regulatory laws. The best source of this data is, of course, your local market teams and agency partners, so listen and learn from them. Elevating this intel to the global team is vital and will ensure any global strategy is sensitive to the factors that will ensure local market success.

2. Just as local market variance should help define global strategy, it is essential that global strategy can be easily refined for local market activation. Global strategy should be built deliberately to be adapted. Collaboration with your local teams will allow for this flexibility and ensure greater uptake. Global teams should be prepared to take a ‘beta’ attitude to how their strategies are implemented, refining them based on local market feedback and evaluation.

3. At Pegasus we take a more responsive approach to the global services we offer. Our experience has taught us that clients prefer working with a partner that truly has in-country specialists with the scale of strategy, content and creative development in each geography. Through Ashfield and our partnerships with Argon and MIMS, we can literally create a global network that is bespoke to a client’s needs.

Megan Hollingdale, Senior Account Director, Pegasus

In association with


30th May 2019

From: Marketing


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